Otago Daily Times

McLaugh­lin’s fo­cus solely on win­ning


- Sports · Sydney · South Australia · Australia · South Australia · United States of America · St. Petersburg, FL · Petersburg · Florida · Eric Whitacre · Roger Penske · Team Penske

SYD­NEY: A third straight Su­per­cars ti­tle is al­ready se­cured so Ford’s Scott McLaugh­lin has promised to leave noth­ing in the tank at Sun­day’s Bathurst 1000.

The Ford star wrapped up the 2020 cham­pi­onship in South Aus­tralia last month and has no rea­son to seek points over a win at Mount Panorama.

With last year’s con­tro­ver­sial victory in the 1000km en­durance epic de­scribed as tainted by ri­vals, McLaugh­lin is in an ideal sce­nario to erase any doubt about his su­pe­ri­or­ity over the field in the past three years with a dom­i­nant dis­play in this year’s race.

‘‘It’s a mas­sive re­lief. To go there and be able to fo­cus solely on win­ning Aus­tralia’s big­gest race, it’s a huge thing,’’ McLaugh­lin said.

‘‘That’s a tes­ta­ment to the crew that we’ve got and how fast we’ve been all year.

‘‘It’s awe­some to win this in this pe­riod where there was a lot of change. We adapted to the change and we ended up win­ning with a round to spare which is in­cred­i­ble.

‘‘Re­ally proud of ev­ery­one and ex­cited to be able to go to a place like this, and gen­uinely have a mas­sive go at it and not be wor­ried about the cham­pi­onship or have it in the back of your mind.’’

Un­cer­tainty re­mains over McLaugh­lin’s fu­ture in the cham­pi­onship af­ter Sun­day.

Fol­low­ing the Bathurst 1000, McLaugh­lin will fly to the United States for his IndyCar de­but on the streets of St Peters­burg in Florida on Oc­to­ber 25.

A good per­for­mance in that event will only heighten spec­u­la­tion Amer­i­can mo­tor­sport mogul Roger Penske will look to move McLaugh­lin away from his Aus­tralian op­er­a­tion and into a per­ma­nent drive in the US.

McLaugh­lin is, how­ever, keep­ing his mind firmly on the task at hand.

‘‘I get to race ba­si­cally the best race in the world and then I can go get on a plane and go and race some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent and very cool, so I’m just ex­cited for the op­por­tu­nity,’’ the DJR Team Penske driver said.

‘‘Mind­set­wise it doesn’t re­ally af­fect me too much un­til I get out of the car on Sun­day night and drive to Syd­ney.

‘‘I’ve got one fo­cus and I’ve just got to fo­cus on what I need to do at Bathurst . . . then I’ve got plenty of time to get pre­pared for St Peters­burg a week later.’’ — AAP

 ??  ?? Scott McLaugh­lin
Scott McLaugh­lin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand